- Paperback: 228 pages
- Publisher: Seed Savers Exchange; 2 edition (March 1, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1882424581
- ISBN-13: 978-1882424580
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.5 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 290 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,783 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Seed to Seed: Seed Saving and Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners, 2nd Edition Paperback – March 1, 2002
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About the Author
Suzanne Ashworth is an educational administrator living in Sacramento, California, whose spare time and large backyard are completely devoted to gardening. Suzanne has donated the text of Seed to Seed to help support the work of the Seed Savers Exchange, a genetic preservation organization with 8,000 members who are working together to maintain and distribute heirloom varieties of vegetables, fruits, grains, flowers, and herbs.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
"An estimated 60 million Americans grow a portion of their own food in a vegetable garden. Their planting needs are supplied by 255 mail order seed companies, countless local outlets for seeds and plants, and the ever-present grocery store seed rack . . . There have always been a substantial minority of gardeners, however, who bypass the garden seed industry completely by saving their own seeds from year to year. Some of these seed savers, remnants of a recently lost peasant agriculture which purchased nothing that could be produced at home, are still planting the same vegetable varieties that their great-grandparents grew. Other new converts to seed saving may be trying to save something special discovered along the way, or to obtain unique plant material not available commercially. Still others have simply been touched by the powerful satisfaction that comes from a garden which is genuinely self-perpetuating."--from the Introduction
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What the book gives you:
A brief history of the plant. It doesn't spend a lot of time on this but does provide some history if it is known.
Pollination, crossing and isolation of the plant. It goes into detail on this part which can be important. It gives enough information that should prevent mistakes such as crossbreeding when you don't want to crossbreed.
Seed production, harvest and processing. This section gives info on when to pick fruit to save the seeds and what if any special steps need to be taken for them to be viable. For some plants, this is important.
Seed statistics. This gives info about how long seeds can be stored. It also talks about seeds per ounce and germination rates.
Regional growing. This talks about information that may be specific to a region. For one plant, it talks about seven different regions of the USA.
While the book is encyclopedic in arrangement, just looking up the seed you want to save in the back takes you right where you need to go. I only have one book for saving seeds. With the info this book has, I don't think a second book would add anything I need.
It's also a great reference for unusual vegetables, it's amazingly complete; you can find out about 4-sided bean or other tropical type vegetables. And it sorts out the different squash and pepper species very well.
The gardening information in each section hasn't impressed me much as useful or accurate; but we are in-between the zones they provide.
The brief intro is instructive and enlightening without being preachy. It describes the development and importance of seed saving and clearly outlines the threat that our agricultural heritage is facing due to agrichemical conglomerates. Then: 20 or so pages covering the basics of pollination, maintaining varietal purity, proper harvest and storage. After that it walks through the different vegetable families carefully and completely.
The tone of this book speaks to the common individual (no degree required), it has frequent instructive photos and many references in the back concerning seed saving here and around the world.
I cannot recommend this book enough! Also, I suggest getting a new copy. This is one of those books that you will be turning to frequently and wearing down. Might as well start out with sturdy binding.